Introduced last spring in Here It All Begins , a train wreck arc, Mark Leroy, played by Stephane Blancafort (Tandem), established himself as one of the new central characters of the TF1 daily soap opera this fall by joining the faculty. Auguste Armand Institute.
While he maintains a difficult relationship with his eldest son, Jim (Loan Becmont), and tries to find a place at school, Marc finds himself in turmoil over a doctored photo showing a fake kiss between Teissier (Benjamin Barochet) and Anais. (Julie Sassus). Is he really behind this photomontage? And if so, why is he trying to torment Emmanuel, his best friend?
At this weekend’s La Rochelle Fiction Festival, Stéphane Blancafort spoke to us about this eventful story, the very strong friendship that unites Marc and Teyssier, and the Leroy family’s past, which will soon reappear in Here It All Begins.
AlloCiné: What do you make of your first few months in Chef Marc LeRoy’s shoes?
: I’m very happy. It’s a great adventure, with a great character, great play partners, although I had a preconceived idea of the daily grind from the beginning, I won’t hide it. And the promises made by the production have been fulfilled, so all is well. I am very happy to be on this adventure that starts here.
Were you hesitant to embark on a new recurring adventure after being one of the tandem heroes for seven seasons?
More or less, yes. Let’s say I needed a break after the tandem. And TF1’s proposal came at the right time. I was able to take a two-month break and be home with my family before joining here, where it all starts. If the sentence had been earlier, it would have been different. But it went well there.
It was the right time, with the right project and the right character. It was nice to get out of the roles of policemen and gendarmes. I have nothing against it, but I wanted something else. And playing a star chef is class. I never imagined playing a character like Leroy.
Mark gets along very well with Thibaut, his youngest son, but has a much more complicated relationship with Jim, his eldest. How do you analyze this conflict between father and son?
I analyze it as in real life. I realize that it is very difficult to be a parent (laughs). It’s absolute hell. None of us is ready to be a father. There is no fathering school. Neither does the mother for that matter. But a mother carrying a child for nine months is a magic that eludes us fathers.
I became a father very young, I was 23 years old. At that time I was thinking more about having fun, going out. But I wanted very small children, so it happened. But despite everything, I had no codes at all. It was difficult. What happens to Mark and his children is real life. There is nothing easy about it.
As we know, Leroy drowned on the job. So, obviously, for ten years, he hasn’t seen his children much. He gave them to his grandparents, and then, ten years later, they grew up, lived their lives, and died. And, of course, dissatisfaction.
Are we going to learn a bit more about the Leroys’ past in the coming episodes?
Yes, now that the family is settled, has a home, the idea is to have a little more interest in the Leroy family. Maybe even the mother of the children. I would still love to meet you. We have to talk, me and him, there are some little things that aren’t right (laughs). But yeah, we’re going to slowly delve into this family’s past.
Can we hope to meet Thibaut and Jimmy’s mom soon? Since he’s barely mentioned at this point, we don’t even know if he’s alive…
He hasn’t mentioned it yet, it’s true. I believe he is alive. And I think it will end up in the show. We are going to find out.
At that moment, Everything indicates that Leroy is the author of the fake photo A kiss between Tessier and Anais. Can your character really betray Taysier like that?
Teissier and Leroy have been friends for 30 years. Leroy is a faithful, loyal and honest guy. That’s how it’s written and I like it a lot, because I’m a little bit like that too. If something is wrong, he will tell you. I don’t think he’s the type to do things behind his back. So maybe he’s not really the author of the doctored photo. This whole story is more complicated than it seems.
A few people at the institute still think that Leroy is the one to take over from Tessier as director…
Mark told Teissier that he had no desire to take the directorship, that he was not at all envious of sitting in a chair all day running the facility. I don’t know if I should believe the rumors.
To me, Mark is an adventurer, he’s a globetrotter. He gave up his two celebrity chef jobs so he can cook what he wants, how he wants, where he wants. I think we can count on his excellence as a leader and as a person. If he’s at the institute as a teacher, it’s also because he’s a little stuck in place after the train wreck. He took the opportunity to discover some really interesting students. And he wanted to teach and impart something to them.
What is your vision for Leroy as a teacher? Do you see him as an inspirational and positive leader?
Yes, I see it more like that. That’s what he prefers, I think. It would be really weird to flip it completely. Even if we never know what the authors have in store for us. But he seems pretty sincere to me, yes.
And at the same time, he has already proven, with Hortense and Anais, that he can be very strict, even threatening. Could he become the series’ new villain?
Leroy arrives at the institute, he is new and there are a lot of problems from all sides (laughs). So yes, obviously, we can ask ourselves questions. It must be related to something. We’ll find out eventually. But I don’t think he is fundamentally evil.
What do you think is in store for Leroy in the next episodes?
I don’t have much information about what happens next. I think I know that he will soon teach the students in a somewhat special way, a little made of Leroy. I think writers tend to do that, and it makes a lot of sense to me. I think they’re looking for slightly original, borderline unconventional ways of training and teaching Mark.
Can you tell us a word about Tandem’s latest TV movie, which you directed last May?Astrid Velyon Who filmed this special episode?
This is a TV movie that shakes up the duo, the tandem, and at the same time, teaches us a lot about the genesis of it all, about how they met, how they loved each other and how they like each other today.
It’s a 90-minute episode, slightly longer than the series format, that answers a lot of questions that viewers have been asking since the beginning. It’s a great way to end the adventure.
Camila Luna is a writer at Gossipify, where she covers the latest movies and television series. With a passion for all things entertainment, Camila brings her unique perspective to her writing and offers readers an inside look at the industry. Camila is a graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in English and is also a avid movie watcher.